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Six Reasons Why Obama Appointing Monsanto’s Buddy, Former Iowa Governor Vilsack, for USDA Head Would be a Terrible Idea

Organic Consumers Association
November 12, 2008

* Former Iowa Governor Tom Vilsack’s support of genetically engineered pharmaceutical crops, especially pharmaceutical corn:
http://www.gene.ch/genet/2002/Oct/msg00057.html,
http://www.organicconsumers.org/gefood/drugsincorn102302.cfm

* The biggest biotechnology industry group, the Biotechnology Industry Organization, named Vilsack Governor of the Year. He was also the founder and former chair of the Governor’s Biotechnology Partnership. http://www.bio.org/news/pressreleases/newsitem.asp?id=200…

* When Vilsack created the Iowa Values Fund, his first poster child of economic development potential was Trans Ova and their pursuit of cloning dairy cows.

* Vilsack was the origin of the seed pre-emption bill in 2005, which many people here in Iowa fought because it took away local government’s possibility of ever having a regulation on seeds- where GE would be grown, having GE-free buffers, banning pharma corn locally, etc. Representative Sandy Greiner, the Republican sponsor of the bill, bragged on the House Floor that Vilsack put her up to it right after his state of the state address.

* Vilsack has a glowing reputation as being a schill for agribusiness biotech giants like Monsanto. Sustainable ag advocated across the country were spreading the word of Vilsack’s history as he was attempting to appeal to voters in his presidential bid. An activist from the west coast even made this youtube animation about Vilsack (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Hmoc4Qgcm4s). The airplane in this animation is a referral to the controversy that Vilsack often traveled in Monsanto’s jet.

*Vilsack is an ardent support of corn and soy based biofuels, which use as much or more fossil energy to produce them as they generate, while driving up world food prices and literally starving the poor.…

Continue reading

Arundhati Roy on the Mumbai Attacks–‘9 is Not 11 (and November isn’t September’

by Arundhati Roy
The Guardian and OutlookIndia.com

We’ve forfeited the rights to our own tragedies. As the carnage in Mumbai raged on, day after horrible day, our 24-hour news channels informed us that we were watching “India’s 9/11″. Like actors in a Bollywood rip-off of an old Hollywood film, we’re expected to play our parts and say our lines, even though we know it’s all been said and done before.

As tension in the region builds, US Senator John McCain has warned Pakistan that if it didn’t act fast to arrest the “Bad Guys” he had personal information that India would launch air strikes on “terrorist camps” in Pakistan and that Washington could do nothing because Mumbai was India’s 9/11.

But November isn’t September, 2008 isn’t 2001, Pakistan isn’t Afghanistan and India isn’t America. So perhaps we should reclaim our tragedy and pick through the debris with our own brains and our own broken hearts so that we can arrive at our own conclusions.

It’s odd how in the last week of November thousands of people in Kashmir supervised by thousands of Indian troops lined up to cast their vote, while the richest quarters of India’s richest city ended up looking like war-torn Kupwara — one of Kashmir’s most ravaged districts.

The Mumbai attacks are only the most recent of a spate of terrorist attacks on Indian towns and cities this year. Ahmedabad, Bangalore, Delhi, Guwahati, Jaipur and Malegaon have all seen serial bomb blasts in which hundreds of ordinary… Continue reading

Islamophobia and the “War on Terror”: the Continuing Pretext for U.S. Imperial Conquest

ISLAMOPHOBIA AND THE ”WAR ON TERROR”: THE CONTINUING PRETEXT FOR U.S. IMPERIAL CONQUEST

© Diana Ralph, Ph.D.Abstract

The 9-11 attacks were the pretext which sold the myth of evil Muslim terrorists imminently threatening Americans. That tale allowed the Cheney-led members of the Project for the New American Century (PNAC) to implement their 1990 DPG plan for world control. The “war on terror” has nothing to do with protecting the U.S. and world’s people from “terrorists”, and everything to do with securing the American empire abroad and muzzling democracy and human rights at home. Designed to inspire popular support for U.S. wars of world conquest, it is modeled on Islamophobic stereotypes, policies, and political structures developed by the Israeli Likkud and Bush Sr. since 1979. To defeat this plan, we must overcome our Islamophobic fear of “terrorists” and stand in solidarity with Muslims.

Editor’s Note:
Intro from Reprehensor, Editor of 911Blogger.com: Seven Stories Press of New York has published an affordable softcover version of the invaluable scholarly volume, “The Hidden History of 9-11″ (see this review) . Here is their page dedicated to this updated second edition . To promote the book, Seven Stories has allowed us to publish an online version of the chapter by Professor Diana Ralph, dealing with the historical roots of “international terrorism,” Islamophobia, and imperial aggression. This chapter is typical of the scholarly detail in “Hidden History.” If you enjoy this chapter, please consider purchasing the book.

1. Why a 9-11 Pretext?

 

…the War… Continue reading

ABC News Exclusive: Inside Account of U.S. Eavesdropping on Americans

U.S. Officers’ “Phone Sex” Intercepted; Senate Demanding Answers By Brian Ross, Vic Walter and Anna Schecter

Despite pledges by President George W. Bush and American intelligence officials to the contrary, hundreds of US citizens overseas have been eavesdropped on as they called friends and family back home, according to two former military intercept operators who worked at the giant National Security Agency (NSA) center in Fort Gordon, Georgia.

The chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, Jay Rockefeller (D-WV), called the allegations “extremely disturbing” and said the committee has begun its own examination.

“We have requested all relevant information from the Bush Administration,” Rockefeller said Thursday. “The Committee will take whatever action is necessary.”

WATCH THE NIGHTLINE STORY

“These were just really everyday, average, ordinary Americans who happened to be in the Middle East, in our area of intercept and happened to be making these phone calls on satellite phones,” said Adrienne Kinne, a 31-year old US Army Reserves Arab linguist assigned to a special military program at the NSA’s Back Hall at Fort Gordon from November 2001 to 2003.

Kinne described the contents of the calls as “personal, private things with Americans who are not in any way, shape or form associated with anything to do with terrorism.”

WATCH Kinne discuss why it was ‘awkward’ listening to her fellow Americans.

She said US military officers, American journalists and American aid workers were routinely intercepted and “collected on” as they called their offices or homes in the United States.

Watch “World… Continue reading

TAKE ACTION against Political Repression at the DNC and the RNC!

Elaine Brower and Prachi Noor, members of the World Can’t Wait National Steering Committee:

Image of protestor prostrate with police officer kneeling on his neck The police repression of anti-war protest that took place at both national political conventions deeply angered members of the peace community, as well as the many people in this country who were shocked at the behavior of law enforcement. There are those who might believe this brutalization of those who were peacefully demonstrating, with permits issued by the City, and which people believe is their ‘right’ under the Constitution, was an aberration or “over-reaction.”

However, what we saw was an emerging police state further testing new weapons and tactics, and learning how much they can get away with.

In St. Paul, the repression began with over a year ago with infiltration by paid informers of protest organizers, and “pre-emptive” raids on private homes and meeting places, leading to overtly political “conspiracy” charges. Police from around the country were led by Homeland Security in the wanton use of concussion grenades thrown in succession at retreating protesters; smoke bombs; an array of tear gas & pepper gas; wooden batons (bats); weapons, including AR15 automatic assault rifles drawn on unarmed and passive people; riot control horses and dump trucks with blades down as if to scoop up anyone in the streets.

This fierceness of control is what is done in Iraq and Afghanistan over the last 7-1/2 years in our names by our military and mercenaries alike, and what has and always will be done in communities of color… Continue reading

Twenty-Six Things We Now Know Seven Years After 9/11

By Bernard Weiner
Co-Editor, The Crisis Papers

Each year around the anniversary of 9/11, I summarize what we ordinary citizens have learned since that awful day in 2001. This is the seventh annual look backwards, a 2008 update that contains new information and surmisings about those horrific events and what followed.

1. One 9/11 Size Fits All. What we now more fully understand is how the CheneyBush Administration utilized the murderous terrorism of 9/11 as the linchpin justification for their unfolding domestic and foreign agenda, much of it illegal, immoral and impeachable.

By and large, one can sum up that overall agenda as: Amass and control power in the U.S. and much of the world (“full-spectrum dominance”), and, in cahoots with their corporate supporters such as Halliburton and Blackwater, loot the federal treasury. All this was to be carried out secretly, with no accountability.

2. Iraq War Planning Began Before 9/11. We also know more about the nature of the lies (including forged documents) used by the Administration to sell the Iraq War, which attack already was in the planning stages well before 9/11.

The first faked document, by CIA forgers at the behest of White House officials, was a 2005 letter (back-dated 2001) supposedly coming from the then-Iraqi intelligence chief to his boss Saddam Hussein mentioning alleged “facts” that established a tie-in between 9/11, Al-Qaida and Iraq and about Saddam’s supposed purchase of uranium. The official, Tahir Jalil Habbush al-Tikriti, who had been an informant for the U.S. during… Continue reading

9/11 Victims Target Saudis With Deep State Ties

by P. Devlin Buckley
September 5, 2008
The American Monitor

Law firms representing victims of the 9/11 attacks in an ongoing legal dispute with wealthy Saudis suspected of financing al-Qaeda have recently turned their attention to two individuals with unique ties to the U.S. government.

Lawyers for victims of the attacks, as well as insurance companies of property owners in New York, have filed a motion of discovery in federal district court in Manhattan targeting the Saudi-owned National Commercial Bank (NCB) and two of its former executives, Khalid bin Mahfouz and Yassin al-Qadi.

Both Mahfouz and al-Qadi have a murky history that includes alleged ties to the CIA, the White House, the Bush family, al-Qaeda, and organized crime on a global scale.

The discovery motion, if granted, would advance the case by requiring both sides to disclose and exchange all available pertinent facts regarding the defendants. The motion comes just days after a circuit court ruled members of the Saudi government are immune from terrorism lawsuits in the United States, a setback in the plaintiffs’ case against Saudis suspected of financing al-Qaeda in the years leading up to 9/11. There are some defendants, however, the ruling does not protect, including Khalid bin Mahfouz, Yassin al-Qadi, and the NCB.

Government documents, expert testimony, and media reports dating back several years suggest Mahfouz and al-Qadi have raised millions of dollars for al-Qaeda and other militant groups. Evidence indicates some of the defendants’ activities were sanctioned by the U.S. government.

During the late… Continue reading

Conyers Questions Iraq ‘Forgery’

by Jason Leopold
August 21, 2008

Photo of John Conyers

John Conyers

House Judiciary Committee Chairman John Conyers has asked current and former White House aides and ex-CIA officials to respond to questions about an alleged scheme to create a bogus letter in late 2003 linking Saddam Hussein to al-Qaeda.

In sending the interview requests Wednesday, Conyers is following up on a disputed story in journalist Ron Suskind’s new book, The Way of the World: A Story of Truth and Hope in an Age of Extremism, which includes an account of how the mysterious letter originated.

The book cites statements from former CIA associate deputy director of operations Rob Richer and John Maguire, the former chief of the CIA’s Iraq Operations Group/Near East Division, as indicating that the White House ordered the CIA to produce the bogus letter to retroactively justify the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq in March 2003.

Richer and Maguire gave Suskind on-the-record interviews, which the author recorded, discussing the reasons the letter was created and saying that it likely emanated from Vice President Dick Cheney’s office. Both men have since recanted their statements.

Conyers, who has held periodic hearings on abuses of power by George W. Bush’s administration, sent letters to former CIA Director George Tenet; the CIA’s former executive director A.B. “Buzzy” Krongard; Cheney’s former chief of staff I. Lewis “Scooter” Libby; and John Hannah, another Cheney assistant — as well as to Richer and Maguire.

“I am writing to follow up on recent serious allegations regarding the creation… Continue reading

Sibel Edmonds Case: FBI Files

Luke Ryland
Mon Aug 18, 2008

dailykos.com

Last week, Scott Horton interviewed (audio) investigative journalist Joe Lauria. Lauria was one of the co-authors of the three-part (1, 2, 3) series on the case of former FBI translator Sibel Edmonds for the UK’s Sunday Times.

Scott Horton Interviews Joe Lauria

 
Photo of Sibel EdmondsIn the interview Lauria discusses the Sibel Edmonds case, the state of the US media, and the Military Industrial Complex in the context of his new book with presidential candidate Mike Gravel: “A Political Odyssey: The Rise of American Militarism and One Mans Fight to Stop It

In the interview, Lauria says that he spoke at length to the three FBI agents who were Sibel’s immediate bosses at the FBI and that they “corroborated in general terms, that this story is true.”

Lauria describes how he recently interviewed one of the FBI agents at his home for 90 minutes, and met another of Sibel’s former bosses several times outside his house. The agents are unwilling to provide detailed corroboration on a lot of the details in the case because they fear being sent to prison, but their willingness to speak to Lauria about the case, and their supportive statements that “She’s not crazy,” provide generalized corroboration on the case.

The FBI itself is not happy that Lauria and the Sunday Times are still looking into the Edmonds case and they made a “formal complaint” with the Sunday Times (a British… Continue reading

History Commons Is An Important Tool For 9/11 Truth

August 15, 2008
Jon Gold

You may have noticed that lately I’ve been making movies that “force” people to go to www.historycommons.org (www.cooperativeresearch.org). I’m hoping people will see just how important a tool it can be.
 

They Wanted War, And They Got It

 

The Grand Illusion

 

Blocked And Promoted

 

The Warnings

 

It’s Not The Crime That Gets You, It’s The Cover-Up

 

Dick, George, And Don On 9/11

 

Evidence Of Foreign Government Complicity?

 

NORAD

 

The Environmental Impact Of 9/11

 

Military Exercises

 

Insider Trading?

 

Able Danger

 

How Did Those Buildings Come Down?

 

Pipeline Politics

 

The Anthrax Attacks

 

Sibel Edmonds

 
Please support www.historycommons.org. They have been invaluable to me, and hopefully will be for you as well.

 …

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THINK PROGRESS EXCLUSIVE: To Provoke War, Cheney Considered Proposal To Dress Up Navy Seals As Iranians And Shoot At Them

Speaking at the Campus Progress journalism conference earlier this month, Seymour Hersh — a Pulitzer-Prize winning journalist for The New Yorker — revealed that Bush administration officials held a meeting recently in the Vice President’s office to discuss ways to provoke war with Iran.

In Hersh’s most recent article, he reports that this meeting occurred in the wake of the overblown incident in the Strait of Hormuz, when a U.S. carrier almost shot at a few small Iranian speedboats. The “meeting took place in the Vice-President’s office. ‘The subject was how to create a casus belli between Tehran and Washington,'” according to one of Hersh’s sources.

During the journalism conference event, I asked Hersh specifically about this meeting and if he could elaborate on what occurred. Hersh explained that, during the meeting in Cheney’s office, an idea was considered to dress up Navy Seals as Iranians, put them on fake Iranian speedboats, and shoot at them. This idea, intended to provoke an Iran war, was ultimately rejected:

HERSH: There was a dozen ideas proffered about how to trigger a war. The one that interested me the most was why don’t we build — we in our shipyard — build four or five boats that look like Iranian PT boats. Put Navy seals on them with a lot of arms. And next time one of our boats goes to the Straits of Hormuz, start a shoot-up.

Might cost some lives. And it was rejected because you can’t have Americans killing Americans.

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The Military-Industrial Complex: It’s Much Later Than You Think

by Chalmers Johnson
Source URL: http://www.tomdispatch.com/post/174959/chalmers_johnson_warning_mercenaries_at_work

Most Americans have a rough idea what the term “military-industrial complex” means when they come across it in a newspaper or hear a politician mention it. President Dwight D. Eisenhower introduced the idea to the public in his farewell address of January 17, 1961. “Our military organization today bears little relation to that known by any of my predecessors in peacetime,” he said, “or indeed by the fighting men of World War II and Korea We have been compelled to create a permanent armaments industry of vast proportions We must not fail to comprehend its grave implications We must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military-industrial complex.”

Although Eisenhower’s reference to the military-industrial complex is, by now, well-known, his warning against its “unwarranted influence” has, I believe, largely been ignored. Since 1961, there has been too little serious study of, or discussion of, the origins of the military-industrial complex, how it has changed over time, how governmental secrecy has hidden it from oversight by members of Congress or attentive citizens, and how it degrades our Constitutional structure of checks and balances.

From its origins in the early 1940s, when President Franklin Delano Roosevelt was building up his “arsenal of democracy,” down to the present moment, public opinion has usually assumed that it involved more or less equitable relations — often termed a “partnership” — between the high command and civilian overlords of the United States military and… Continue reading

The Mistake Department: One Example of Why American Foreign Policy is a Disaster

Photo of J. Michael Springman

J. Michael Springman

This week Visibility 9-11 welcomes former diplomat from the State Department’s Foreign Service J. Michael Springmann. Mr. Springmann served postings in Germany, India, Saudi Arabia, and the Bureau of Intelligence and Research in Washington D.C. He is a published author of several articles on national security themes, and is an attorney in private practice in Washington D.C.

Michael has attended several 9/11 Conferences over the years, most notably, the 9/11 Omission hearings on 9/9/2004 chaired by former Representative and current Green Party candidate for President, Cynthia McKinney, as well as the recent conference in Keene, NH.

Included in this important interview is a discussion regarding a new article by Mr. Springmann titled, THE MISTAKE DEPARTMENT: One Example of Why American Foreign Policy is a Disaster (reprinted below) that discusses the American Consulate General at Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, and it’s relationship to 15 of the 19 alleged September 11th hijackers. In it, he says that “the Jeddah Consulate was not a State Department post but an intelligence services operation”, “the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) routinely demanded (and got) visas for sleazy characters with no ties to either their home country or Saudi Arabia,” and “these vile people were terrorists recruited by U.S. intelligence officers along with Osama bin Laden, then a CIA asset.”

 Visibility 9-11 welcomes State Department’s Foreign Service J. Michael Springmann

Direct download: media.libsyn.com/media/visibility911/visibility911_springmann.mp3


THE MISTAKE DEPARTMENT
One Example of Why American Foreign Policy is a Disaster

by J. Michael Springmann
7/26/08

After airplanes flew into… Continue reading

Flight 93 Shot Down, says Navy Officer?

By Jim Loney
Originally published July 22, 2008

Editor’s Note: Update: Janice’s mea culpa

Someone has just brought to my attention a possible interpretation of this statement different than what I had come to, so in the spirit of accurate reporting and non-sensationalism, I am adding this for your consideration. As always, we hope you carefully interpret all information coming to you, no matter what the source, (including ours, of course). My interpretation of these comments was that Stone was simply making the case (the crux of the case) that Hamdan knew the target, therefore Hamdan must have been a party to the attack. I had not considered that Stone may have been (supposedly) quoting Hamdan fully, and that Hamdan may have been the one reported as having said, “If they hadn’t shot it down…,” not Stone. Nonetheless, it seems quite odd that the US prosecution, led by military officers, would have made any reference to Flight 93 having been shot down… [End of update.]

 

A couple key points here from the Gitmo show trials not really being shown:
1) Defense attorney for bin Laden’s driver, Salim Hamdan, stated: “There will be no evidence that Mr. Hamdan espoused or believed or embraced any form of what you will hear about, radical Islam beliefs, extremist Muslim beliefs.” Where have we heard that before? A little like Atta and friends drinking Dewars scotch, paying for lap dances, partying it up… fundamentalist Muslims who hate Americans’ ‘freedoms’? I think not…… Continue reading

1991 CNN Report: Secret Succession Plans Would Grant Cheney Special Authorities During Disaster

by Devlin Buckley
July 21, 2008
Theamericanmonitor.blogspot.com

“In the United States of America there is a hidden government about which you know nothing.”

So begins a revealing television exposeé aired by CNN in 1991. The hour-long Special Assignment presented the findings of a yearlong CNN investigation into the ultra-secretive Continuity of Government (COG) program, commonly referred to as the “doomsday government” or the “shadow government”.

The COG program was originally designed in the 1950s to ensure the survival of the federal government in the event of a nuclear attack. The highly secretive emergency plans were substantially upgraded during the 1980s and have become a focus point of the current administration, particularly since the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001.

The COG program, which until recent years was believed to be reserved for nuclear disasters, was officially activated for the first time during the 9/11 attacks. The program, according to the most recent reports, was never completely shut down. Portions of the “shadow government” are presumably still operating to this day.

Recent efforts to reform and expand the emergency protocols, according to the best available reports, have been led by Vice President Dick Cheney, who played a major role in the COG program during the Reagan Administration.

The underground program is historically run out of the office of the Vice President through a clandestine agency, identified by CNN as the National Program Office (NPO).

In 1991, CNN found the Continuity of Government program and National Program Office to be rife with waste, fraud, and abuse.…

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Video Response to BBC’s ‘Conspiracy Files’

The Final Mystery Of 9/11?
(A video response by Jon Gold to the BBC’s latest episode of “Conspiracy Files,” which purports to lay to rest the “mystery of 9/11.” Uhm… they failed, by the way.)
 


What the BBC producers probably should have watched before putting out this silly recent piece … a BBC production by Adam Curtis, from several years ago, The Power of Nightmares: The Rise of the Politics of Fear. We encourage everyone to watch this video, and share it with others, as its historical presentation is quite valuable regarding the background of players involved with our current “War of Terror.”

Description from InternetArchive.org:

This film explores the origins in the 1940s and 50s of Islamic Fundamentalism in the Middle East, and Neoconservatism in America, parallels between these movements, and their effect on the world today. From the introduction to Part 1:

“Both [the Islamists and Neoconservatives] were idealists who were born out of the failure of the liberal dream to build a better world. And both had a very similar explanation for what caused that failure. These two groups have changed the world, but not in the way that either intended. Together, they created today’s nightmare vision of a secret, organized evil that threatens the world. A fantasy that politicians then found restored their power and authority in a disillusioned age. And those with the darkest fears became the most powerful.”

 

Is the Fourth Estate a Fifth Column?

Corporate media colludes with democracy’s demise
By Bill Moyers

Without a free and independent press, this 250-year-old experiment in self-government will not make it. As journalism goes, so goes democracy.

 

I heard this story a long time ago, growing up in Choctaw County in Oklahoma before my family moved to Texas. A tribal elder was telling his grandson about the battle the old man was waging within himself. He said, “It is between two wolves, my son. One is an evil wolf: anger, envy, sorrow, greed, self-pity, guilt, resentment, lies, false pride, superiority and ego. The other is the good wolf: joy, peace, love, hope, serenity, humility, empathy, generosity, truth, compassion and faith.”

The boy took this in for a few minutes and then asked his grandfather, “Which wolf won?”

The old Cherokee replied simply, “The one I feed.”

Democracy is that way. The wolf that wins is the one we feed. And in our society, media provides the fodder.

Our media institutions, deeply embedded in the power structures of society, are not providing the information that we need to make our democracy work. To put it another way, corporate media consolidation is a corrosive social force. It robs people of their voice in public affairs and pollutes the political culture. And it turns the debates about profound issues into a shouting match of polarized views promulgated by partisan apologists who trivialize democracy while refusing to speak the truth about how our country is being plundered.

Our dominant media… Continue reading

Preparing the Battlefield

The Bush Administration steps up its secret moves against Iran.
by Seymour M. Hersh
July 7, 2008

Late last year, Congress agreed to a request from President Bush to fund a major escalation of covert operations against Iran, according to current and former military, intelligence, and congressional sources. These operations, for which the President sought up to four hundred million dollars, were described in a Presidential Finding signed by Bush, and are designed to destabilize the country’s religious leadership. The covert activities involve support of the minority Ahwazi Arab and Baluchi groups and other dissident organizations. They also include gathering intelligence about Iran’s suspected nuclear-weapons program.

Clandestine operations against Iran are not new. United States Special Operations Forces have been conducting cross-border operations from southern Iraq, with Presidential authorization, since last year. These have included seizing members of Al Quds, the commando arm of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard, and taking them to Iraq for interrogation, and the pursuit of “high-value targets” in the President’s war on terror, who may be captured or killed. But the scale and the scope of the operations in Iran, which involve the Central Intelligence Agency and the Joint Special Operations Command (JSOC), have now been significantly expanded, according to the current and former officials. Many of these activities are not specified in the new Finding, and some congressional leaders have had serious questions about their nature.

Under federal law, a Presidential Finding, which is highly classified, must be issued when a covert intelligence operation gets… Continue reading